Thanksgiving week is typically a time when we give a little more thought to the many things we are thankful for, but we encourage the Sunnybrook students to regularly consider and express gratitude for what we have. Science has shown both physical and mental health benefits for those who cultivate gratitude in their daily lives.
We read some stories about being thankful, including Thankful by Eileen Spinelli and Giving Thanks: a Native American Good Morning Message by Chief Jake Swamp. The children selected a small book to record all the things they are thankful for with drawings and words. They didn’t have to think very hard to get started, and they shared some truly authentic ideas. They are thankful for family, the Easter Bunny, bridges, water parks, picking apples, toilets, train tracks, sisters, etc.
Each child received a copy of Woodland Stone Soup to take home. After the holes were punched in the pages they wound a coil through the holes to secure it together into a book, then wrote their name on the front. We hope that you enjoy reading them with your child. They worked so carefully over several days to create beautiful illustrations and are now looking forward to performing it for you next month.
Story telling bracelets were introduced, and the children who were interested used colorful beads to represent different aspects of the stone soup story. They laced the beads onto an elastic cord, and can use them to tell the story. First they added three colorful glass beads for the three travelers, then 3 brown wooden beads for the 3 round, smooth stones. Next they added some sparkling gem encrusted beads for the villagers followed by a large wooden bead to represent the cooking pot. Three decorative glass beads represent the ingredients, and finally, a heart charm was added for sharing stone soup and connecting with others as friends and community.
During sign language group we reviewed everyone’s names, then guessed whose names were being signed by Rose. We learned the signs used to introduce ourselves – my, name, is – then children who wanted to took a turn introducing themselves using their sign names. We reviewed the numbers 1-11 and sang a fun number song while signing. For our winter performance we will be singing the song “The More We Get Together” so Rose taught us all the signs and helped us sing through it a couple times. We learned that signs change depending on the meaning of the word, for example, when signing more, if talking about more people or more time, we would sign it differently.
We are so grateful that we have been able to spend 12 wonderful weeks together so far, and that everyone has remained healthy and safe. We are thankful for the Sunnybrook students, families, board members, and teachers that make up our community. We are thankful that we live in an area where we are able to spend our days outside, enjoying nature and all the outside opportunities for exploration, play, and learning.
We wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving! Even though you may be apart, hopefully you will still find joy and gratitude.